Sharp AR-C172M Instruction manual

Color at Work
TM
100% Independent Analysis
Sharp MX-3501N
35 ppm Color and Monochrome
Copier - Printer - Scanner - Fax
Key Buyer Benefits
High-capacity, high-speed single pass
document feeder reduces user time at
device
Well-designed user interface for both
walk up and desktop users
Customized walk up experience
through the favorite templates feature
in Web server
Advanced permissioning and cost
control management utility
Encrypted PDF technology for more
secure document storage and sending
Innovative scan-to and print-from USB
memory stick
Wide range of security features
including network authentication, MAC
and IP filtering, good port management
compliance, network authentication
and LDAP integration
BERTL 5-Star Award Winner
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
info@BERTL.com
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed
electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format.
Any reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
What’s Inside?
Click on the title to jump to that page.
Product Dynamics ......................................................................................................3
Sharp Open Systems Architecture.........................................................................4
Device Management ...................................................................................................5
Sharpdesk .................................................................................................................14
Security .....................................................................................................................16
Routine Maintenance ...............................................................................................18
Accessibility..............................................................................................................21
Paper Input................................................................................................................22
Paper Output/Finishing............................................................................................23
Copy...........................................................................................................................25
Ease of Use .........................................................................................................25
Customized Walk-up Experience.........................................................................25
Control Panel Functionality ..................................................................................25
Concurrency and Contention ..............................................................................26
Job Build ..............................................................................................................26
Covers and Insertion Pages.................................................................................27
Productivity ..........................................................................................................27
Image Quality.......................................................................................................28
Print ...........................................................................................................................29
Direct PDF and TIFF Printing...............................................................................29
Driver Layout........................................................................................................29
Job Handling ........................................................................................................33
Productivity ..........................................................................................................34
Scan ...........................................................................................................................35
Attachment Options .............................................................................................35
Job Build .............................................................................................................35
Scan Data Capture Accuracy...............................................................................37
200 dpi vs. 300 dpi Output ...................................................................................38
Text vs. Text/Photo ..............................................................................................38
Scan to File Productivity ......................................................................................39
Scan to USB ..............................................................................................................40
Fax .............................................................................................................................40
Page 2
Summing Up .............................................................................................................41
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Product Dynamics
The MX-3501N is the first of a new series
of color MFP products to come out of
Sharp as the company reshapes its entire
color MFP line up in 2006. While the MX3501N may, at first glance, have design
similarities to its predecessors, the ARC172M and AR-C262M, BERTL found that
nothing could be further from the truth
once we started using the device.
All the weakness that had forced BERTL to
not place the AR-C172M and AR-C262M
on its recommended list have been
replaced by innovative, cutting edge
technology. These changes have put
Sharp in a very strong position in this hard
fought market sector and have warranted
the rare and prestigious BERTL 5-Star
Exceptional rating.
Users will find the new MX-3501N similar
yet far superior to its Sharp predecessors
in many ways. The machine has much of
the same feel as the previous series with a
different body and many new, enhanced
features.
With the business color market in full
swing, Sharp positions the MX-3501N to
do more than just replace black and
white MFPs. At 35 ppm in both
monochrome and color, the Sharp
MX-3501N can handle those larger
color jobs that traditionally have
been too complex and lengthy for
desktop color printers and instead
have been sent down to the central
reprographic department (CRD) or
outsourced to a commercial print
shop.
Before assessing a product such as the
Sharp MX-3501N, it is important to have a
clear understanding of the role the device
has to play in the office and the types of
environments and workflows that the
device is going to have to handle.
Designed to handle the role of overall
workgroup or small department
copy/print/scan (and possibly fax), the
Sharp MX-3501N has a great deal of
responsibilities. As the number of highspeed color printers increases, the need to
be able to justify the extra expense of the
scanner/copy module is becoming more
pressing.
Even though printing has become the
dominant workflow requirement for most
office environments, copying cannot be
sold short. It is still considered a vital dayto-day activity and one which needs to be
efficient, especially due to potential user
“dead time” (employees waiting at the
device, carrying out no other useful
purpose).
BERTL analyst putting the
Sharp MX-3501N through its paces
Just like its competitive
counterparts, the Sharp MX-3501N
comes complete with copy, print,
and scan right out of the box. Fax
functionality is optional, as Sharp
continues to stay consistent with
rival MFPs in the marketplace.
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tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 3
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Product Dynamics
Another important issue when judging
office color devices is image quality and
what makes good and bad image quality
for general office applications.
When attending trade shows and
manufacturer conventions, it is always
interesting to see when a color product is
unveiled that one of the first things that
people do is slap a photo down on the
glass and hit copy. They expect to see a
beautiful reproduction of their loved one. In
reality, the office color MFP is not, in a
corporate setting, going to be called upon
to carry out this task, which can prove a
challenge even for dedicated high-end
graphic devices. Instead, image quality
should be looked upon in relation to its role
in the general office — that of message
highlighter and image enhancer.
The Sharp MX-3501N comes with an
enviable list of high-tech features that aid
every aspect of the device including:
•
•
•
•
•
Scan-to and print-from USB memory
stick drives
Customized walk-up experience on a
user-by-user basis
MAC filtering ensuring maximum
security lockdown
Encrypted PDF workflow for both print
on demand and scan users
Open Systems Architecture for even
greater customization
Sharp Open Systems Architecture
The benefits of this Sharp OSA are
multiple:
• a reduction in the cost of implementing
software applications due to the
reduction in hardware components
• a more efficient end user experience
delivering productivity benefits
• the opportunity to streamline workflow
processes in a single step
Sharp is stressing that its Sharp OSA will
be user-friendly, allowing dealers and end
users — not just the software giants with
large development budgets and unlimited
IT resources — to take advantage of the
architecture.
This is so important as small- and mediumsized customers look for something more
than a solution out of a box but do not
want to spend exorbitant amounts for
special software. With Sharp OSA, dealers
can give buyers the customized and
special treatment they desire without the
pricey solution.
BERTL has already been privy to betalevel demonstrations of a multitude of
software applications running on Sharp
OSA including cost control, scan
middleware routing, and document
management applications.
At the time of writing, Sharp OSA is not
currently available to end users, but should
be available shortly with a selection of
software applications ready at or near time
of launch.
Sharp’s Open Systems Architecture
(Sharp OSA) which is based on Microsoft
.NET technology — one of the popular
building block frameworks for software
developers today — allows independent
software vendors (ISV), dealers, and end
users to develop specific applications that
can be run through the touch screen of the
MFP.
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 4
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
By simply opening a Web browser and
typing in the Web address of any Sharp
device, in this case the MX-3501N, a site
specific to the machine pops up.
The Top Page does not offer much more
than the configuration of the machine in
the picture, a menu, and the current status
of the machine. But, this is just a home
page or starting point for the site and
device.
Double click on the Current Status of the
machine and the Device Status page
opens. This is useful to monitor paper
supplies; each paper tray, from tray 1 to 5
and the bypass tray is detailed.
Users can see how much paper is in each
drawer, the media size and paper type.
Toner supply percentages also are
displayed.
.
The opening page displays configuration stats.
The information is valuable to users
running long jobs who will want to know
the status of the machine’s toner as well
as the amount of paper in a specific size.
Status window displays current paper levels, toner supplies, and more.
Page 5
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
info@BERTL.com
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
On the Address Book page,
network folders, emails, as well as
desktop folders can be set up for
specific users or groups.
Administrators have the option of
choosing Email, FTP, Desktop,
Network Folder, or Group. Up to six
indexes can be set up. After
selecting a type, administrators key
in new users or tweak present
users, giving access specific to the
administration’s demands.
Address Registration is accessed
through the Add key from the
Address Book. Administrators
complete this screen to give new
users access.
Users choose the type of address that is to be stored.
Deleting an address is easy. Simply
check the appropriate address name
and click Delete.
Address registration details are entered including shortcut
key labels and default file settings.
Page 6
Addresses can be grouped into custom indexes for fast
batch sending workflow tasks.
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tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
Document Operations
is the command center
for the document
storage and reprint on
demand capabilities of
the device.
There are three distinct
storage areas that can
be used to store
commonly-used
documents.
The Quick folder
provides open access
to documents with fast
one-touch access from
the touch screen
control panel.
The Main folder features both sharing capabilities and security.
The Main folder provides greater
administrative functionality and password
protection capabilities, thus allowing the
storage zone to be a shared resource
while still maintaining security for sensitive
or confidential documents.
Custom folders are maintained by
individual users and can be passwordlocked to prevent others from gaining
access to the contents of the entire folder.
documents stored. We could reprint stored
documents with a wealth of settings
including private print.
We could also route the file to a new
destination using the Send features on the
device. By clicking on the name of the file
we could even see a thumbnail of the page
itself, allowing us to check that we had
selected the correct document.
Individuals maintain custom folders.
Using the Document
Operations menu on
the Web server, users
can set up custom
folders, view items in
their own Custom
folder plus the Quick
and Main shared
folders.
We were impressed by
the ease at which this
functionality could be
set up and by the
flexibility in the
management of
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Page 7
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
Sharp also includes a sophisticated
Search facility allowing users to look for
files stored by user name, file name or
password. This useful feature saves
valuable time when a large number of
documents are stored, especially in the
shared Main or Quick folder locations.
users cannot select more than one job to
print at a time. In order to print multiple
jobs, users must go to the File Batch Print
screen, select all desired jobs and input
the password.
The only problem is, from the Search
screen, the Quick File folder, Main folder
and Custom folder management windows,
Users can search by
user name.
Page 8
Users can search by
password.
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
One of the most innovative new aspects
Sharp has added to its Web server is an
enhanced user control administration
system. After signing in, the administrator
is greeted by a new menu that allows them
to set up and manage user accounts.
Setting up new users was easy and
included a wide range of functionality and
automated features designed to make the
job as streamlined as possible.
However, the system gets more interesting
with the added ability to specify the user
account into a preconfigured group of page
limit, authority level and favorite operation
settings profiles.
The setting up of these profile groups was
also easy to administer. Within the Page
Limit group window, the administrator
could assign a volume limit for each
functionality component of the device.
During the user setup process, the
administrator enters all the usual personal
information, login details, email address,
and password similar to other devices.
A user can be set up by the administrator with group settings for page limits, authority level and
favorite operations being applied
Page 9
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
This limit could also be split out between
monochrome and color, allowing a color
device to be used by junior staff as a
monochrome device only while maintaining
color capability for senior staff.
While this system offers very extensive
control capabilities over the device, we
would have liked to have seen the
management carried out at a central
network location. This would allow for the
control and monitoring of users across a
range of Sharp devices.
For example, junior staff member X is
assigned a limit of 50 color sheets per
week within their profile. That profile has
been downloaded onto four Sharp MFPs.
There is nothing to stop the user carrying
out 50 color prints on each of the four
devices, thus creating 200 sheets.
Sharp advised that a central server-based
accounting system is in development and
will be released shortly.
An Authorities group profile can be applied
across multiple users to designate which
functions can and cannot be used by users
in the profile.
While there is some overlap between the
Authority function and Page Limit function
(a Page Limit of zero pages is effectively
the same as not permitting the feature
within the Authority group list) it does offer
greater flexibility for the administrator.
If the system were managed centrally, the
50-sheet limit would be hit regardless of
the split in workload between the four
devices.
A junior staff Page Limit profile can be set up with no limit on monochrome printing
but limits on color output capabilities
Page 10
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
The last, and possibly the most innovative
profile is the Favorite Operation group list.
This profile designates the default settings
that are made available to the user when
they login to the device and assigns
specific one-touch actions on the opening
page. The Favorite menu is broken down
to Copy, Image Send, Document Filing
and System Settings. The first three allow
the administrator to set up the default
settings for each function of the device.
System Settings allows the administrator
to assign up to three one-touch operations
from the opening screen of each function.
In the example illustrated, we set up onetouch copy and image send buttons
providing a fast, efficient way of carrying
out routine tasks without having to wade
through multiple menu layers ands
complex document production settings.
Above: Favorite Image Send settings appear as one touch buttons on the opening scan page.
Below: Favorites can be set up for each walk-up function, providing more one-touch operations.
Page 11
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
The Web server includes the standard
system settings and network
administration settings tabs allowing the
administrator to remotely set up and
manage the device.
are or are not available, import digital
certificates and SSL information and
change password settings as required.
(See the Security section of this report for
more information.)
The administrator can set up email
notification. Messages can be sent to the
administrator or specified email address
for anything from paper jams to empty
toner bottles. Users can be notified when
long print jobs are completed. Even the
status of the machine can be emailed to
the dealership to help ensure the machine
is maintained properly.
Most machines are shipped
with one instruction manual
which is often misplaced. The
Operation Manual Download
page ensures users always
have access to needed
manuals via download.
Storage Backup is another
helpful feature which allows the
administrator to save all the
customizations, IDs, or settings
that have been set up on the
copier. If the device somehow
loses its settings, it can
instantly be uploaded onto the
current machine or even a new
machine. Since the device has
so many ways to customize
itself, it’s great to see a backup
feature that will enable a
speedy recovery and minimal
downtime if the unthinkable
occurs.
Above: A detailed log of the device activity can be
created and exported to the administrator’s PC for
management reporting purposes.
Below: A back up data archive of system settings
can be stored allowing for speedy disaster
recovery in the event of device failure.
Last, but by no means least,
are Sharp’s security settings
which can be managed by the
Web server application.
Administrators are able to
assign IP and MAC filter
ranges, designate which ports
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Page 12
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Device Management
Sharp offers a suite of remote
management software collectively called
the Printer Administration Suite. Bundled
with the standard network printing, the
Suite includes MFP Home Page and
Printer Administration Utility.
The Printer Administration Utility (PAU) is
a network tool designed to speed up the
installation and configuration of all
connected Sharp devices. It allows IT
managers to manage both Sharp and nonSharp SNMP-compliant printers over the
network right from their desktop.
Integrated with this software is the Printer
Alert Monitor. It allows the administrator or
key operator to set up a notification system
for whenever an error code is sent out
from the device.
Alerts can be set up as a sound alert or as
a pop up. The administrator is able to
choose which devices they want to monitor
and for which alert actions to be notified.
The Print Status Monitor provides information
relating to device status.
Sharp also provides E-mail RIC which lets
the administrator set up an automated
email response to certain actions at the
device.
The dealer can also be kept in the loop
now with emails being sent when toner
gets low or service calls are imminent.
Sharp also provides a LAN-based utility,
called Printer Status Monitor which
provides basic SNMP data on the device:
its current status, paper, and other
consumable levels. (See screens to the
right for examples.)
Page 13
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Sharpdesk
A one-user license for Sharpdesk is
bundled with the Sharp MX-3501N.
Sharpdesk is a document management
tool with many features found in advanced
enterprise-level products. It communicates
with Sharp MFPs and scanners, letting
console users scan images to the desktop.
Its key features include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Indexing to create searchable files
Desktop with thumbnail file viewing
Integrated Document Composer for
time-saving layout and printing
Optical character recognition (OCR) to
convert scanned pages into editable
text
Output Zones for distributing files to
email, printers, PC Fax, Composer,
and other user applications
PDF creation tool allowing users to
convert documents into this common
portable document file format
During the installation of Sharpdesk,
the Network Scanner Tool Setup creates
four standard scan routes.
Sharpdesk’s search and indexing functions
makes locating documents a fairly simple
process.
For supported text document types —
principally .doc, .html, and .pdf. — the
search function performs a keyword match
on contents. This requires that the user
first indexes all relevant files through the
indexing function in order to create a
keyword database. Indexing can then be
scheduled to run periodically so that new
files become automatically searchable.
The search function is not restricted to
text. Users can also search on file
attributes such as name, type, path, size,
and modified date.
associated with MS Office. This field data
can be entered in the properties dialog box
that’s displayed (and modified) when you
click on a document icon.
The advanced search function works by
performing a Boolean search of all file and
document attributes along with the search
word. Users therefore can focus the text
search on only relevant files for speedier
results.
An advanced function lets users search on
a limited amount of data as well.
Sharpdesk can search on subject, author,
keyword, title, and comment fields
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tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 14
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Sharpdesk
Sharpdesk’s document manipulation
function, called Composer, lets users
assemble multiple documents into a single,
custom job.
To manipulate documents, users must first
add them to the Composer work area.
Users either drag existing icons from the
thumbnail pane to the work pane or they
can add new documents by printing from
any application using the Composer driver.
With Sharpdesk, users can OCR .bmp,
dcx, .gif, .jpeg, .pcx, .pdf, .png, or. tif
images into Word or PDF.
In summary, the Sharpdesk offers many
useful features that will let smaller offices
experiment with document management,
OCR, and layout functions and may let
them postpone the purchase of more
sophisticated software.
Once in the work area, page images can
be recorded, duplicated, or deleted.
Header, footer, page number, and text
annotations can also be added.
Users can modify pages in the Composer work area.
Page 15
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Security
With data and network security on the Alist of most IT managers, Sharp looks well
positioned to deliver a host of security
options to cater to the needs of the
security-conscious buyer.
because unlike IP addresses — which can
be changed should a hacker discover the
range of approved IP addresses — the
MAC address of the network interface card
cannot be changed.
In addition to its already enviable list of
security features, Sharp has added PDF
encryption to the MX-3501N. Users are
now able to enter a PIN when creating
PDF documents for storage or external
communication. This ensures that if a PDF
file is intercepted, its contents cannot be
read unless the recipient has the PIN that
goes with the files. This PIN is encrypted
using 128-bit security and requires nothing
more than a standard Acrobat Reader,
utilizing Adobe’s own security technology.
Sharp also includes a port lock down
utility. This searches the device for any
ports that are not being used and locks
them down to prevent back door entrances
for hackers into the network.
To limit access to the device itself, Sharp
has included both IP and MAC address
filtering. MAC address filtering is an
important step up from IP address filtering
(which many competitors now have)
Sharp offers a variety of methods of
restricting user access to the functionality
of the device. At the most basic level, the
Sharp MX-3501N supports user and
departmental codes, either through its own
user code system or through third-party
applications such as Equitrac. This is used
to track activity at the device on a user-byuser basis, ultimately controlling which
functions are available per user.
Administrators are able to apply IP and MAC
filters using the Web server.
Page 16
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Security
For maximum security environments, an
additional Data Security Kit supports a
second layer of security applied at the hard
drive level. The Kit secures the device
three ways.
In addition, the device also supports
network authentication with NTLM and
LDAP servers. This forces users to enter
their network username and password
before they are granted access to the
device. Passwords can be safeguarded
while being sent across the network
through the Sharp’s support for both
Kerberos and Digest MD5 encryption.
•
•
Once authenticated, the administrator can
set up the From Form field within the send
functions of the device to be forcepopulated with the login users details, thus
providing an audit trail for communications.
•
Privacy: 128-bit encryption ensures
that all files stored on the hard disk
remains a secret.
Memory Clear: Internal memory can
be automatically or manually cleared
after each operation.
Data Overwrite: Automatically
overwrites ROM, RAM, and disk
blocks with random data.
To safeguard documents being sent to,
and those stored on the device, Sharp
offers a range of solutions.
For print and fax jobs arriving at the
device, the Sharp MX-3501N supports
secure print and F-code fax. These two
functions allow users to send documents
with PIN codes thus
rendering the
documents secure at
the device until the
authorized user enters
the PIN to release the
job.
The same PIN
protection can be
applied to stored
documents in the
document filing area of
the device.
Above: Image Send communications can be secured
using a password to encrypt PDF attachments.
Below: Secure print jobs can be listed and printed in a
single step using the Batch print process.
Page 17
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Routine Maintenance
The overall maintenance of the Sharp MX3501N is very straightforward and simple.
Most users will find the directions easy to
use.
Refilling the toner extremely simple and
clean. The toner is located inside of the
front cover which opens down.
Once open, the four toner cartridges are
visible. Yellow, magenta, cyan, and black
span across the top from left to right. Each
cartridge is the same size and holds the
same amount of toner. The cartridges are
removed easily by lifting the colored tab
and gently pulling the cartridge straight
out. After removal, we noticed no mess
whatsoever. We could not create a spill
even after shaking and flipping the
cartridge.
The waste toner unit, a large black piece of
plastic, sits below the toner cartridges.
Users can remove it by pushing on the
green plastic button above it. The waste
toner unit opens down like the front cover
did. The tray is pulled out in a flat position.
The waste should be disposed of
immediately. The tray should be held flat to
reduce the chances of dropping lose toner
around the office. Although the process
was somewhat messy — it is after all a
toner waste unit — we were very pleased
with the cleanliness of the unit.
The front cover is first released revealing the
toner cartridge supplies.
Toner cartridges can then be replaced. The
process is mess-free; BERTL analysts were
unable to create any toner spill even when
shaking the cartridge roughly.
The drum units can be replaced when the
waste unit is out. While Sharp suggests
users place a service call to replace these
units, BERTL believes some advanced
users can replace them by removing a few
screws.
When paper jams occur, even novice
users would not have problems removing
jams from this machine. The larger touch
screen turns into an illustration which will
guide users through the paper removal.
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The imaging drums, while supposedly an engineer
install process could be replaced by end users.
The bottom plate is lowered, three screws are
removed, then drums replaced easily.
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Page 18
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Routine Maintenance
The competition does the same, but Sharp
provides some of the most detailed, clear,
and straightforward images and directions
BERTL has seen.
The picture shows the exact point of the
machine which needs to be opened.
Sensors tell when the section is open and
navigates users to the next step, whether it
is turning a knob, or looking at a certain
area. Once the jam is removed, the screen
lets the user know and tells them to shut
the open parts of the machine.
No jams occurred during BERTL’s
extensive testing. We had to force jams to
examine the clearing process. For many
devices, most jams occur in the duplex
area. The Sharp MX-3501N is no
exception. Finding and removing duplex
jams is easy. The unit is located on the
opposite side of the finisher, a big plus.
Some rival units locate the finisher and the
duplex unit in the same areas which forces
users to do twice as much work and need
twice as much room to remove a duplex
paper jam.
To remove the jam users simply pull the
unit out with metal ball bearings to expose
the full jam area. Most competitive units
have a plastic fold-down door..
This not only creates an easier jam
removal but also takes less strain to open
and close. The unit is simpler to shut and
is less liable to break than the competitive
units.
Jam removal images are
clear with moving displays
showing how to remove
paper.
Page 19
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Routine Maintenance
The Sharp MX-3501N
sports two different
finishing units, an
internal one and a
attached finisher.
The internal one,
which staples and can
hole punch, is located
underneath the
control panel and is very easy to open.
When a jam occurs in this finisher the
touch screen coaches the user through a
simple three-step jam removal. The front is
opened, the knob is turned and the paper
is removed. We found it to be very
accessible.
Touch screen instructions clearly illustrate how to
access jams in the finisher unit.
When using the saddle-stitch finisher,
more areas may produce jams but the
ease of use is still evident. The jams may
occur where the internal finisher and a
bridge unit connects the machine to the
finisher. This is very easy to remove.
Jams also occur in the finisher itself and
are easy to clear. The door is opened and
the paper path is pulled out. Most likely,
the paper will be exposed. Turning the
knob fully exposes the paper for removal.
The touch screen graphics once again do
a fine job taking users through process.
Above: The finisher is first pulled away from the
engine unit
Below: Paper jams can then accessed easily by
turning the green knob as described
The paper path is accessible and easy for
disabled users to use, even those in
wheelchairs. However, they may have
some difficulty reading the touch screen
control panel which does not tilt.
Page 20
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Accessibility
The Sharp MX-3501N does not have a
tilting control panel. This means that the
The touch screen on the MX-3501N can
be hard for users in wheelchairs to see
reducing accessibility.
slides out providing plenty of room to
access jams. Some rivals force users to
pull the floor-standing finisher unit before
the duplex unit can be accessed, an
obvious problem for wheelchair users.
Some devices offer a tilting control panel
so users in wheelchairs could see and
touch the screen. Other devices have
remote copy control which puts the copy
controls on a computer screen. Others
allow the scanning unit itself to sit on a
desktop at an appropriate height making it
accessible to both walk up and disabled
users.
The USB feature is located on the right
side up against the back of the machine.
This is difficult to access. However, there
is an additional keypad option that
provides a hard key QWERTY keyboard
with the USB port built in which would
make the USB function much easier to
use.
As mentioned earlier, while jams are easy
to remove from a wheelchair, the
instructions on the touch screen are
difficult to see, making it difficult for those
users to locate the proper removal method.
Toner replacement and even drum
replacement was also deemed to be easy
to wheelchair users, with front access and
no complex tasks involved.
Furthermore, the Sharp MX-3501N’s paper
drawers only open from the bottom. At
least one of its competitors open from both
the top and bottom so users in wheelchairs
can open and close the lower drawers
without having to bend so far down to grip
the drawer handle.
We would like to see some of these
considerations brought into future Sharp
products.
On the positive side, the large capacity
tray (LCT) is easily refillable from a
wheelchair. Users can simply open the tray
and drop letter/A4 sized paper in.
Once open, the paper drawers are very
easy to refill. Users can adjust the drawers
with just one hand to change sizes. Paper
can be held in one hand and the paper in
the other hand.
Paper jam removals from the duplex unit
were also more handicap-friendly than
some competing units. The duplex unit
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Page 21
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Paper Input
Another strong point for the Sharp MX3501N is the overall paper capacity. This
unit comes standard with a 1,100 sheet
capacity and maxes out at 5,600 sheets.
The standard capacity is on par or above
most machines in this segment. A 100sheet bypass paper capacity is
complemented by two 500-sheet
adjustable drawers. While the bypass is
the capacity we expect, the two paper
drawers could be improved. In the future
we would like to see Sharp add 50 sheets
to these drawers, making the capacity 550.
This improvement may not seem like much
but it will allow users to put a full ream of
paper in to a nearly empty drawer, not a
fully-depleted drawer.
Two more adjustable 500-sheet paper
drawers can be added. The remaining
3,500 sheets come courtesy of the optional
large capacity tray (LCT) which only holds
letter/A4 paper in portrait. The LCT is
located on the right side of the machine
and is very accessible to users.
The 500-sheet universal paper drawers
can be easily adjusted. Users can hold
paper in one hand and just use the other
hand to adjust the size. The maximum
paper size is A3/11” x 17”.
Sharp MX-3501N with all four universal drawers,
bypass tray, and saddle-stitch finisher installed
The bypass tray handles oversized 12” x
18” paper stock. The capacity of 100
sheets is typical in this range. This allows
for full bleed ledger/A3 documents to be
produced on the oversized paper with the
unprinted edges trimmed after printing
The paper types fall below much of the
competition but should be more than
adequate when dealing with most offices.
The adjustable paper drawers and LCT
allow users to use up to 28 lb.
Bond/105gsm (some competing units offer
somewhat heavier weights). For thicker
paper, users can turn to the bypass tray
and use up to 56 lb. bond/209gsm. Once
again this is somewhat below average but
should be acceptable in most
environments.
The first paper guide is a one handed change
sliding along the length of the drawer. Unlike
some rival units, the slide does not have a
number of pre-cut sockets into which it must
be inserted. This allows the Sharp MX-3501N
user to use a wider selection of custom paper
sizes.
Squeezing these two handles together allows
the paper guides to be adjusted with one hand.
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Page 22
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Paper Output/Finishing
The Sharp MX-3501N comes with a variety
of finishing options and configurations.
Sold as is, the paper will exit underneath
the control panel from the right hand side.
Users can choose to output each set
rotating between a letter/A4 and letter
R/A4R paper drawer. While this reduces
productivity marginally due to the changing
media supply, the user can quickly and
easily divide up each set which are output
at 90 degrees to each other.
There are two finishers that are available,
the internal finisher and the floor standing
saddle stitch finisher.
With the internal finisher, users retrieve the
documents underneath the control panel,
but from a tray and with a variety of more
options. In order to sort, a shift tray will
move front and back to ensure sets are
separated. This finisher will staple up to 50
sheets at a time which is high for a internal
finisher. Competitors usually max out at 30
sheets.
Above: Internal
finisher
Left: Floor standing
saddle-stitch finisher
Up to 500 sheets can be stacked by the
internal finisher which is again better than
some competitors which have a 300 sheet
limit in the internal finisher. Perhaps the
most significant strength of the Sharp’s
internal finisher versus competitors’ is the
ability to add a two- and three-hole punch
unit.
Some competitors only offer this feature on
floor-standing external finishers. This
finishing unit will have a more attractive
price tag than the saddle stitch unit and is
External Finisher
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Paper Output/Finishing
job. The stapling feature, which only
interacts at the end of each document set,
added virtually nothing to the overall time.
great for offices which desire these
features but lack the space.
The saddle stitch finishing options can do
everything the internal finisher can do and
more. With the saddle stitch finisher users
can stack up to 1,000 sheets of paper at a
time. A hole-punch option is also available
with this finishing model putting the
versatility across the board.
The saddle-stitch capacity of the finisher is
limited to 10 sheets, which means that
booklets up to 40 pages in length can be
created. Some competing units can fold
and staple up to 15 sheets to create
booklets 60 pages in length. However, 40
pages should be more than adequate for
most offices.
As the charts illustrate, the effect on
productivity of the two finishers is very
different. The hole punch on the internal
finisher causes the paper path to stop for
every sheet which is punched in turn. The
hole punch finishing feature added a
considerable amount of time to the overall
While we did not have access to the
external hole punch unit on the Sharp
products we tested, we would expect the
hole punch time to be much closer to the
unfinished time due to the design of the
floor standing unit which places the hole
punch in the paper path of the device
allowing it to punch each page without
interrupting the flow.
Paper feeding from multiple trays had a
considerable effect on the Sharp MX3501N. We ran a 50-page document using
the large capacity tray. We then repeated
the job using the bypass tray for both
covers, and tray 1 for sheets 10, 20, 30
and 40. The engine speed slowed by 31
percent. The exact drop will be dependent
upon the nature of each job.
Internal finisher productivity measured on the
sister MX-2700N.
Internal Finisher
Page 24
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Copy
Ease of Use
The new Sharp MX
series has an
enlarged touch screen
when compared to its
predecessors. The
touch screen has
some great features
which complement
the hard buttons quite
nicely.
Above: Default copy home page settings
Below: Customized home page using favorite group settings
We found the touch
screen to be
responsive with a
clear menu system
that would be easy for
novice/temporary
users to get adjust to
without training.
Customized Walk-up Experience
Control Panel Functionality
The initial walk up experience can be
tailored on a user-by-user basis using the
Favorite Operations Group profile as
discussed earlier in the report. This can
reduce wasted user time since all day-today settings are only a single click away.
For this function to be available, the device
has to be set up for user authentication
mode. If Page Limit profiling has been
enabled on the device, the first screen that
users see is a table listing the volume
allowances they have remaining for the
different walk up functions.
Like other devices in its class, The MX3501N control panel features hard buttons
as well as a touch screen. Hard key
functions include Start, Stop, Interrupt,
Number Entry and function selection.
When the Copy key is selected the two
Start keys also turn green letting users
know it is ready to go.
The touch screen is fairly large, measuring
at 8.9” inches corner to corner. The design
and layout take advantage of this larger
screen size quite well. We were impressed
by the clarity and responsiveness of the
touch screen which made job building a
fast and accurate process.
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Copy
Moving throughout the menu system was
intuitive with little head scratching, even
when building more complex.
To allow users to keep track of job build
features the device includes an Information
”i” button which displays all the current
settings on a single screen.
We were impressed by the job queue,
which is displayed as a separate margin to
the left of the display. When the margin
area is touched the entire display switches
to show the queue of print and copy jobs,
including information and the user’s name.
We were disappointed to see that the
queue monitor does not count down print
jobs, so users do not have a clear picture
of how long the print job might take before
they can get started. This was irritating
since copy jobs do count down sets as well
as total pages.
In addition to the comprehensive job
details screen, users can also see a
pictorial interpretation of the job which is
displayed in the center of the screen. This
helps users keep track of the job they are
selecting or have selected, cutting down
on double checking and running jobs more
than once due to human errors.
There is also an Information icon on the
front screen which provides a complete
profile breakdown listing all the various
features that comprise the copy job.
Concurrency and Contention
Copy While Copying: The Sharp MX3501N is well-equipped to handle multiple
copy jobs at a time. Unlike some other
devices, the Sharp does not set aside
specific queue locations for copy jobs,
allowing users to simply queue copy jobs
into the device’s memory until the device is
full.
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Print While Copying: We experienced no
problems sending print jobs to the device
while a copy job was in progress. We
would have liked the ability to see the
queue of copy jobs already at the device
before committing our desktop print job.
This would allow users to decide whether
to send urgent jobs to another device if the
queue is long.
Copy While Printing: We experienced no
problems sending copy jobs while print
jobs were being output and while print files
were arriving off the network being ripped
by the Sharp MX-3501N’s controller. This
is a feature that causes bottlenecks on
some competing devices can due to the
device controller’s ability to handle either
the ripping of a copy job or a print job one
at a time.
Scan While Printing: We experienced no
problems sending scans via email or to the
desktop while print jobs were arriving off
the network. We were even able to
continue scanning jobs while the front
panel was open for routine maintenance.
Overall, the Sharp MX-3501N performed
well under a wide variety of mixed
workflow conditions, and looks wellequipped to handle the rigors of multitasking.
Job Build
We were disappointed to find that there is
no ability to combine scans from the platen
with those from the document feeder. This
is a factor that might be important in some
niche markets where combining cut sheet
with images from bound books or
photographs might be a common workflow
practice. The Sharp’s inability to carry out
this task would force a user to create a
second generation copy of the platen
pages before incorporating them within the
cut sheet pages.
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Page 26
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All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Copy
Productivity
Covers and Insertion Pages
Producing complex documents with
different media supplies for cover and
chapter/insertion pages was a simple,
intuitive process. Different media supplies
could be chosen for front cover, back
cover, and two different insertion ranges in
addition to the standard paper supply. The
document production capabilities of the
MX-3501N well above those of its
workgroup rivals and more on a par with
departmental devices.
A major productivity-enhancing strength of
the MX-3501N is its 150-sheet capacity
single pass document feeder. As the table
below illustrates, duplex scanning was
actually faster than simplex on
monochrome work, and was on a par
during color work. This, coupled to the
highest in class 150-sheet capacity, means
that users will spend less time at the
device during copy tasks.
While this level of functionality may be
beyond the day-to-day actions of the
majority of users, it does allow those users
who want to reduce cost and time delays
to produce a wide range of documents
without having to send jobs down to the
CRD or outsource work to a commercial
print shop.
Page 27
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Copy
Image Quality
Image quality was to a good standard
across most standard output. Fine lines
were crisp and fonts could be read easily
down to 4 point.
Halftones reproduced well as were shades
of grey in monochrome mode. There was a
weakness when the device was tasked
with reproducing grey shades when in full
color mode with an assortment of shades
with cyan, magenta or yellow creeping into
the mix. This is due to inaccurate mixing of
the four colors to create composite black.
In monochrome mode, however, grey
shades reproduced well as were
representations of colors (as illustrated in
the bottom two images.)
Above: Text could
be read down to 4
point.
Right: Fine lines
reproduced well in
greyscale mode.
Below: The device had a problem reproducing
grey shades in full color mode, creating output
with pronounced cyan, magenta and yellow
areas within the shade spectrum
Below: Printed image copied in text/photo mode in full color and greyscale modes
Page 28
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
The Sharp MX-3501N’s network printing is
standard. Printing is powered by a
600MHz controller with 640MB RAM and a
80GB hard drive providing adequate
memory for spooling and storing
documents.
Ethernet and USB 2.0 connectivity are
included as standard.
Within the standard printing package users
receive PCL5c and PCL6, with PostScript
available as an upgrade item.
Direct PDF and TIFF Printing
Driver Layout
We were pleased to see that layout of the
PCL6 and PostScript drivers are nearly
identical, with the addition of a few
PostScript-specific features within the
Advanced tab including the added ability to
set screen frequency and angle, mirror
image and job compression levels.
The similar operation of the drivers means
that users who switch between the two
drivers should have no difficulty during the
transition. Both drivers are laid out well
with a geographical job summary on the
left side of each tab.
PDF and TIFF printing are available with
the addition of the PostScript upgrade kit.
Page 29
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tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
BERTL has liked the Carbon
Copy feature since its
introduction on Sharp MFPs
several years ago.
The feature creates a second
(carbon) copy of the document
onto a different paper source.
Companies that traditionally
used two-piece forms can
migrate away from dot matrix/
line printers to a laser- based
alternative.
The Tab Paper Print function
within the Special Options list
on the main tab is another useful function.
After choosing the type of tab,
users can enter the text for each
tab, choosing a font and orientation of each tab table.
Users can also stipulate a paper
source for each page of the
document. In the example to the
right, the bypass tray has been
selected for the covers and a
separate stock chosen as chapter dividers on pages 20, 30 and
40.
Page 30
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
We were pleased to see that Poster mode was
included. This useful feature allows users to
create large posters using the device.
The device splits up the image into multiple
pieces each blown up to fit the paper size. The
user simply attaches the pieces together to
create a large poster.
This is useful for schools, churches, and small
retailers who need large format imagery but can’t
afford a device or the expensive outsource fees.
As you would expect of Sharp, there is plenty of
security in the driver, with network authentication, secure folder delivery, and private/hold
print with PIN functionality.
The drivers also include both watermark and
overlay capabilities. Users have the ability to
incorporate image overlay files into a print file.
This feature is most used as an entry level
method of electronic form printing where a standard background form design is stored on the
device. The raw data is sent as a print file and
merged with the background data at the device
level. This saves on network bandwidth and reduces processing time at the desktop.
We would have liked to have seen a distribution
numbering facility where each set is given its
own unique numbering watermark. This would
make tracking illegal distribution easier to track
back to the original recipient.
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 31
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
The color settings tab includes a selection of
preconfigured color curves designed to provide
one-touch color capabilities for the novice or
casual office color user.
For those who want greater control there is also
a custom color option which allows users to
change specific color aspects to suit individual
needs.
A variety of image quality settings can be
changed using a sliding scale adjustment.
We were pleased to see that a visual aid is provided to assist the user with the options and their
likely effect on the printed output.
Page 32
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
The advanced tab also includes the
tandem print function. This allows users to
split a job across two devices. The job is
literally split at driver level with half the
jobs sent to one printer on the network and
the remainder to another.
Job Handling
Users are able to send jobs in a multitude
of delivery formats.
Document Filing: The job is stored on the
hard drive of the device where it can be
accessed and reprinted at a later stage
either from the desktop or from the control
panel of the device. Users can choose to
deposit documents into a general folder or
into a specific folder of their choosing,
which can be protected with a PIN.
We were impressed to find that the device
includes a batch print process from the
touch screen control panel. This allowed
us to enter our PIN once which would then
bring up all our secure jobs. We could then
release all the jobs as a single operation
rather than having to send each job
individually. This allows users to build up a
number of secure print jobs
Hold Only: This sends a
print job to the queue of
the device, where it is held
until the user releases the
job from the touch screen
control panel. This allows
the user to avoid
documents being removed
in error by other users.
Documents can be
safeguarded with the
addition of a PIN,
preventing other users
from being able to release
the job from the queue.
This is an essential feature
for devices out of the sight
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lines within companies needing to comply
with government data legislation acts such
as HIPAA and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
Hold After Print: This prints the job but
holds the file in memory of the device
rather than instantly deleting the file. This
allows the user to reprint the file again if
required from the device.
Sample Print: This is a useful function
when producing long print runs of large
complex documents. The printer outputs a
single copy of the document, allowing the
user to check if the document has printed
correctly. If correct, the user can release
the remainder of the print run without
having to resubmit the job to print.
Job Notification: The Sharp MX-3501N
driver includes the ability to send a job
completion notification to the user.
To take advantage of this feature users
must have the printer status monitor
installed on the desktop. If installed, users
will receive a pop up message informing
them that their job is completed and ready
for collection.
Batch printing allows users to release multiple
hold jobs in a single operation.
Page 33
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Print
Productivity
BANDWIDTH COMPARISON
The choice between PCL and PostScript is
one shrouded in mystery for most end
users. Some may have a concept that
PostScript is more suited to graphic-centric
documents, but that is usually about it.
As part of its evaluation, BERTL looks at
the differences in both productivity and
bandwidth terms between the two page
description languages (PDLs), highlighting
whether or not educating the staff to the
benefits of choosing the correct PDL for
the job actually pays dividends.
As the table and chart illustrate, there are
some advantages to choosing one PDL or
the other. The productivity differences
were less pronounced than we have seen
on some other devices where PCL has at
times delivered very large productivity
advantages over PostScript.
There was little to be gained from PCL on
most jobs apart from the 33-page
PCL
PS
50-page Sarbanes- Oxley
document as PDF
601 Kb
1.53 MB
6-page PDF mixed medium
resolution graphics and text
6.86 MB
1.14 MB
2-page PDF with high
resolution graphics
11.1 MB
6.48 MB
16-page PDF magazine
8.27 MB
3.31 MB
38-page Word document
with text and tables
8.05 MB
3.52 MB
32-page text intensive
PowerPoint presentation
5.08 MB
1.87 MB
69-page graphic intensive
PowerPoint presentation
31.9 MB
13.0 MB
33-page Publisher doc. with
graphics
113 MB
153 MB
Publisher file. However PostScript did offer
a considerable reduction in network
bandwidth burden across most file types.
Page 34
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
info@BERTL.com
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan
One of the productivity boosting features
we like about the Sharp MX series is its
simple, uniform console interface. The
interface lets you quickly get the job done
with minimal drill down. This need for userfriendliness is most important in the scan
function of the device, where users are
typically carrying out more selections at
the touch screen.
Users can scan to email, scan to desktop,
and scan to FTP. Destination addressing is
maintained through a single address book
stored at the device or via a central LDAP
address book resource.
Information common to all transmission
methods are the symbolic name assigned
to the destination (person, fax, directory
name, etc.) and the file format. This
information can be entered using the
Imager Home interface or through the
console interface.
Console users click on the Address
Directory soft button to bring up these
symbolic addresses, which are organized
alphabetically, into group addresses, or by
most frequently-used. As the directories
become larger, the global scan function
can be used to bring up the address that
matches the search.
Console users can also enter addresses
dynamically. The QWERTY interface lets
users enter email addresses, subjects, as
well as an email body. While not available
on the test unit made available to BERTL,
Sharp is bringing out a hard key QWERTY
keypad which will be attached to the front
of the device making the process of
entering information even faster and
accurate
For added security, Sharp has included the
ability to restrict access of the scanning
function to only those users who can
provide an authenticated network ID and
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password, with the From field being forcepopulated with the logged in user’s
credentials. This allows administrators to
keep track of all scanning carried out
throughout the company, satisfying one of
the data security measures within HIPAA.
Attachment Options
The Sharp MX-3501N offers a choice of
TIFF, JPEG, or PDF file creation options,
and two different compression algorithms,
MH, (modified Huffman) and MMR
(modified modified read).
We were pleased to see that the
administrator can set limits for attachment
creation based on either number of pages
or by bandwidth size. This is an important
consideration in law firms where files being
submitted to courts have to comply to strict
guidelines which can be either page or
bandwidth related.
The ability to control bandwidth also
assists organizations with bandwidth limits
on the corporate firewall ensuring that all
emails make it outside the company limits.
Job Build
We were disappointed to again find that
there was no ability to combine scans from
the platen with those from the document
feeder.
Single Pass Design
The 150-sheet, single-pass design
document feeder makes the MX-3501N an
attractive proposition within scan-intensive
environments. The single-pass design
produces a range of benefits including
higher duplex productivity, less wear and
tear on originals and the potential for
raised reliability versus the more tortuous
reversing document feeder of some rivals.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 35
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan
The scan menu is easy to navigate,
made even easier with one-touch
favorites added as seen opposite
Destinations can be selected from the
Frequent Use folder, the device
address book or globally searched
against the corporate LDAP database
In addition to preset destinations, users
can also enter addresses ad hoc using
the QWERTY keypad feature. We found
the QWERTY keypad to be responsive
and easy to use. The distance maintained between each letter reduced
incidences of mistakes.
Emails could be personalized with
Subject, message line, and file name to
avoid deletion by the recipient.
While most rival devices offer a subject
line feature, Sharp goes one step
further and includes a message
addition feature.
There are a wide range of attachment
options available including multiple file
types, compression levels, limit on size
and, most importantly, encrypt PDF
format allowing users to safeguard
attachments from interception in transit.
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 36
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan
Scan Data Capture Accuracy
One of the fastest growing needs for
high speed scanning is the conversion
of legacy hard copy documents into an
electronic format for information sharing,
reduced storage space demands, and
easier search and data retrieval.
A scan only converts a page into an
image which is not very manageable.
For that reason, most companies use
optical character recognition (OCR)
software to convert the images into
editable text which can then be
searched, changed, incorporated into
new document, etc., as required.
The OCR engine recognizes individual
images on the page converting them
Portion of BERTL OCR test chart scanned at 200 dpi
into letters, numbers, and other
(top), 300 dpi (middle) and 600 dpi (bottom) in text forsymbols. The OCR engine then runs
mat and saved as a PDF file. Image has been zoomed
complex analysis on the text in
to 400 percent in Adobe Acrobat before screen capconjunction with spellcheckers, technical tured for display. Top line is 4 point, middle is 6 point
dictionaries, and other data sources
before offering up its best conversion into
originals, BERTL analysts then run the
electronic format.
scanned files through ABBYY FineReader
8.0, in default configuration. The impact of
This stage can be very time-consuming,
the accuracy of the scanning process at
especially if the quality of the scanned data the various resolutions and settings is
is poor, leading to character recognition
reflected in the number of manual
errors.
confirmations that the OCR application
demands before the OCRed document is
To look into this important workflow issue
deemed clean and ready to use.
BERTL runs a series of standard test
The higher the human intervention rate,
patterns with multiple font types, sizes and
the higher the cost to the company of
colors through the device capturing the
carrying out the action.
data at various resolutions using both text
and text/photo settings. Text is the default
As expected, the greatest difficulty in OCR
setting for most OCR work due to its 2-bit
recognition was found on the smallest 4
format which tends to produce the best
point text sections of the test documents.
text reproduction. However, as more and
more documents incorporate images and
While the majority of documents may
colored elements, text/photo — which
standardize on 8 or 10 point text for which
operates in 8 grey shades for better
the device fared very well, 4 point text will
reproduction of images and colored text
be processed on diagram labels, terms
elements — is also being used.
and conditions on contracts, etc.
Having scanned each page of its test
The choice of OCR application will also
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 37
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan
have a dramatic effect on the level of
human intervention required after the initial
scan has taken place. For that reason, we
have standardized on ABBYY, a wellrespected leading OCR software
developer.
The increase in bandwidth and the slight
additional delay before the larger 300dpi
scanned file can be accessed by the
desktop operator are more than offset by
the greater accuracy of character
recognition.
Our tests are run using the latest level of
ABBYY FineReader 8.0 software running
in default modes. Through fine tuning of
the rich feature set in ABBYY FineReader
8.0, an additional portion of the manual
intervention could be removed. However,
to maintain benchmark comparison
procedures, default settings were selected.
Text vs. Text/Photo
200 dpi vs. 300 dpi Output
The graph below clearly illustrates the
advantage in terms of reduced user
intervention when scanning for OCR
workflow is switched from 200dpi to
300dpi.
There was also a clear differentiation
between the recognition of text and
text/photo scanning modes. While the
algorithm used in text/photo mode may
result in better looking output of images
and photographs, it resulted in less clear
character capture which again results in
increased user intervention rates. Users
should look carefully at the types of
document they are scanning before
choosing the scanning method.
Page 38
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan
Scan to File Productivity
Measuring productivity from a purely
mechanical perspective (not taking the
human element into consideration)
involves two main elements.
•
•
The time to get all the pages scanned
so the user can walk away
The time to transmit the data back to
the desktop for further processing
BERTL conducted a productivity test using
a standard government tax application
form as a template.
The times were taken from the moment the
scan was initiated until the final page
exited the document feeder. The time was
also taken to the point where the file could
be opened from the desktop destination.
As the tables below illustrate clearly, the
impact on the walk up user is very
marginal when you move from 200 dpi to
300 dpi, with a slight increase when
moving from monochrome to color
scanning.
The larger difference comes when you
consider the time lag before the scanned
files can be accessed. In this instance,
while the 200 dpi text/photo monochrome
scan took only 14 seconds longer to scan
through the document feeder than the 300
dpi color text/photo scan, the time lag
increased from only 11 seconds after the
last page came out in monochrome scan
mode to over 1.5 minutes in 300 dpi color
scan mode.
Page 39
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Scan to USB/Fax
Following closely in the footsteps of a
major printer vendor, Sharp has
introduced the ability to interact with
USB memory sticks which are fast
becoming the modus operandi for
carrying electronic data.
The Sharp MX-3501N has a USB port
directly above the Ethernet port at the
back of the device. This port can be
used for both printing files directly from
the memory stick, or as a destination
for scanning documents.
Above: Users choosing to scan to USB
BERTL analysts found the function
very easy to use with the only sticking
Above: Users have extensive options available to them
point being the position of the port;
including resolution, file type, file naming, etc.
located at the back of the device it may
Below: The standard USB port is hidden
be difficult for some users to access.
at the back of the device.
However, Sharp is launching in the
near future an additional hard key
without an external
QWERTY keyboard unit that will be
power supply which
attached at the front of the device. This
means that if the power
keyboard will not only make the entry of
fails first thing Monday
metadata faster than the touch screen
morning before any staff
alternative, but will also include a USB port
come in, any jobs still
which will make the feature much more
residing in the memory
accessible for all.
of the device will be
safely stored pending
The addition of this capability is yet
the return of the main power.
another differentiator between the Sharp
MX-3501N and its closest rivals and
Desktop users also have the ability to use
highlights the attention to user friendliness
the fax function on the Sharp MX-3501N
that has gone into the design of this unit.
from their desktops, using the Sharp LAN
fax software utility.
Fax
Security is again accounted for, with the
The Sharp MX-3501N can be upgraded to
Sharp MX-3501N including F-Code
include a fax function. The upgrade
transmission capability. F-Code works by
includes a 33.6kbps modem and 8MB of
depositing faxes into an electronic folder
dedicated flash fax memory. JBIG, MMR,
with a PIN code, thus protecting the
MR and MH compressions are all included
contents from unauthorized viewing.
as standard.
The device made available to BERTL did
The flash memory was a welcome addition
not have fax enabled. We have tested
providing a memory facility not susceptible
many Sharp products before with fax
to power failures or reliant upon a back up
capability and have yet to run into a
battery. Flash memory is self-supporting
problem.
www.BERTL.com
tel. (1) 732-761-2311
fax. (1) 732-761-2312
info@BERTL.com
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
Page 40
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.
Sharp MX-3501N
Color at Work®
Summing Up
While Sharp may have been a late arrival
onto the color MFP scene and has had to
struggle playing catch-up, the Japanese
giant is now well and truly in the market,
with a range of color MFP products that
will put up a worthy offense to the market
leaders.
BERTL was very impressed by the way in
which Sharp has gone from so little to so
much in one generation and has firmly laid
down the gauntlet to others in terms of
both user friendliness and overall
functionality.
The device is not perfect, with reproduction
of greyscales in full color mode and the
lack of a centralized cost accounting
system being its major hurdles.
However, the wide array of unique userfriendly features listed below makes the
Sharp MX-3501N one of the easier 5-star
grade decisions that BERTL has made
over the past 12 months.
We look forward to seeing how the
departmental class color-enabled units
fare and how the competition struggles to
combat these new color MFP products.
What we would like to see next:
•
More attention to accessibility features
such as either a tilting control panel or
a remote copy/scan control
mechanism
•
Better queue viewing capabilities
allowing desktop users to see the
volume of copy jobs at the device
•
More scan workflow functionality built
into the firmware of the device such as
color dropout, deskew, and despeckle
which will further aid the device being
used as a decentralized scanning
resource.
•
Scan preview from the touch screen
control panel.
•
Favorite groups allowing each login to
customize the device to the person
•
Scan to USB functionality for on-the-fly
BERTL analyst impressed by the Sharp MX-3501N
hard copy to soft copy conversion
•
A plethora of security
features that should make
most CIOs sleep a little
better at night
•
A 150-sheet single pass
duplexing document
feeder to handle large
jobs in a single visit
•
Highly-featured printer
drivers ensuring that
desktop printing is made
as efficient as possible
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tel. (1) 732-761-2311
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Page 41
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL
2-May-06
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any
reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any
reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or
omissions contained in this document.